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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Mar 30, 2013 1:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: China Cat Sunflower > Autzen 08/21/93

Lyrical missteps always take a version down a notch or 2 in my mind...I can't help it...same with clunky transitions...yeah, the rest of the song may pick up in energy and be quite good, but as long as we're talking "best of" versions, I need an almost completely clean sheet, at least in the execution, which I know narrows the field quite a bit.

A good example is one of my favorite Scarlet>Fires from Lehigh 9/25/81...it's pretty awesome all the way up to Jerry's opening verse in FIRE and then he completely botches the verse & it's just ugly. The rest of the song rocks but I still can't get that initial stumble out of my head to give it a true 5-star recommendation.

Other times I get truly annoyed with what I feel are glaring oversights by reviewers who--well, I just don't know what they're thinking...there are numerous heads who count 6/25/85 as a GREAT Dead show, and every time I listen all I hear is Jerry mumbling his way thru lost lyrics (Row Jimmy), and just a general lack of fluidity and choppy playing to go along with his tired-sounding vocals and the band's lack of cohesion.
But there are 5 stars all over that show. I really don't get it when there is objective evidence of a sloppy show or version and people overlook it b/c it's got "energy" or happens to be part of a "great set list." Please. Give me a well-played "boring" set list over a crap-ass error fest that's a "great set list" any day.

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Poster: stratocaster Date: Mar 30, 2013 1:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: China Cat Sunflower > Autzen 08/21/93

major clams are just as bad as a muffed lyric,there are so many "almost best versions ever" that have died on the operating table due to a forgotten line or blown guitar part...there are very few versions in my top rankings that have egregious errors...

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Mar 30, 2013 2:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: China Cat Sunflower > Autzen 08/21/93

Curious--give me an example of or define "major clam"...

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Poster: stratocaster Date: Mar 30, 2013 2:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: China Cat Sunflower > Autzen 08/21/93

with regards to the notorious clam, the grateful dead clam takes many forms..from hitting the wrong chord (like Weir in the intro to Terrapin 01-22-78), to clipping notes (ala Garcia in intro Morning Dew 05-08-77), to hitting a sour note (Garcia solo Look Like Rain 04-20-83)...sometimes it can be a group clam...as compared to lyrical blunders, a minor clam, like an "outside" note played during a run in Let It Grow in 06/18-74, can often escape detection, however a major blunder can often put off a sour taste that is hard to make up for...if you notice, all these versions are considered top ranking versions, mostly because other variable factor in that offset the mistakes...09-18-87 morning dew is likely the highest rated most flawed version of anything they played...